1. The problem
Select an issue of interest to you.
2. The data
Identify a publicly available dataset.
Note: to make your life easier, I am also going to make a small number of datasets available on Moodle.
3. Your task
Your task is to:
– Formulate the problem
– Derive a hypothesis of the form variable X positively (negatively) influences variable Y.
– Write a causal graph (do not limit yourself to variables available in your dataset if others are relevant). Use available prior knowledge to build your causal graph (i.e. look at the scientific literature on the topic).
– Build an analysis based on your causal graph and verify or falsify your hypothesis.
The above analysis should be reported in a report of 3,000 words (excluding the executive summary, figures, tables, references and appendices) where the results of the analysis are commented and justified. Your task is to present evidence of your findings (plots, causal graphs, analysis). There should be some discussion of the relevant literature, some analysis and presentation of conclusions on your findings within your essay.
5. Assessment of the term paper
Your report will be assessed following the criteria below: Statement of Problem 30%
Appendix 1: Advice on how to structure your BCPM0094 term paper
A report is a practical learning task where you will apply the theories you have been studying to real world situations.
– Executive Summary: the report should include an executive summary to provide top management with a concise outline of the main points in a report, indicating where in the report to locate more detailed information. The summary is often the first page of the report and should be concise and not involve too much detail. It should make commentary on the main points only and follow the sequence of the report. An executive summary is often written after the report is completed, as by then you have an over view of the whole text.
– Introduction: Provides an overview of the report with a clear description of your aims and objectives, and the context of the problem or situation. The introduction should also outline the scope of your investigation and any limitations. You can also provide a brief historical background of significant events leading up to the present investigation.
– Literature review: Outlines existing research and published material upon which you will base your analysis, conclusions and recommendation.
– Methods: in this section, you will need to briefly and concisely list the procedures and process undertaken in your investigation in clear order. If necessary, use subheadings like Sample, Instruments, etc.
– Findings/Results: Presents your findings in a clear and logical sequence. You will need to label and number charts, tables, graphs and pictures consecutively.
– Discussion/Analysis: This section resembles a short essay where you will explain and argue your interpretation of the evidence.
– Conclusion: provides the overall purpose of the report, steps taken, overall findings and point of view.
– Recommendations/Implications: outlines your recommendations to improve business practices or policy, as relevant for the problem you tackled.
– References: references are important as they prove you have researched the area and show that your ideas are supported by research. However, do not overdo the number of references as you are writing a report and not a literature review (10-15 references are adequate!). Use the Harvard Referencing System and remember to only include references that you have used in your assignment (i.e. those that you have cited in your assignment).
– Appendices: You can use appendices at the end of the report to put material that is not essential in the body of the report, or is too lengthy that it interrupts the flow. Appendices may include additional evidence you base your findings on (e.g. additional statistical calculations). You need to title and number all appendices (e.g. Appendix A, Appendix B), and list them in the table of contents.
Throughout the report use headings and sub-headings generously. Not only do they make it easier for your client to read and understand the report, but headings also help you to reinforce the organization of the report.